Cases reported "Postmortem Changes"

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1/97. Indoor postmortem animal interference by carnivores and rodents: report of two cases and review of the literature.

    We present two cases of nearly total skeletization of the exposed face and neck due to indoor postmortem animal interference and a review of the literature. In the case of a 61-year-old man, inspection of the damaged soft tissue margins revealed serrated edges and parallel cutaneous lacerations caused by rats. In the case of a 40-year-old woman, postmortem examination revealed v-shaped and rhomboid-shaped tunneled wounds in the damaged soft tissue caused by a pit bull terrier. The autopsy in both cases identified natural causes of death. While the morphological feature of postmortem soft tissue artifacts caused by rodents can be ascribed to animal incisors, stab wound-like punctured wounds are characteristic of canine dentition of carnivorous origin. Additional morphological criteria for injuries of carnivorous origin are linear scratch-type abrasions from claws in the vicinity of the injuries. In cases of indoor postmortem animal interference damage is primarily caused to the exposed areas of the body, no self-defense injuries can be found on the deceased's body, only a small amount of blood or the total absence of bloodstains should be expected at the scene, an inquiry of pets living free in the house or wild animals having possible access to the scene should be conducted and rodent excrement found at the scene can give the investigator further information.
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2/97. temporal bone pathology findings due to drowning.

    It has been reported that anoxia due to near-drowning or near-suffocation causes brain damage but not inner ear damage. On the other hand, it has been shown that brain death causes both brain damage and inner ear damage. However, studies of temporal bone pathology resulting from sudden death due to drowning are few. We studied temporal bone pathology in six cases of individuals who died of accidents due to drowning. In all temporal bones examined, we found extensive congestion petechiae and haemorrhage in the vessels in the mucosal layers of the middle ear and mastoid air cells, as well as in the vessels around the facial nerve and carotid canal. In the inner ear, there was no abnormality in Corti's organ or the vestibular organs, except in one case who died in the bath. Our findings suggest that petechiae haemorrhage or congestion in the vessels of the mucosal layer and the vessels themselves of the middle ear occurs upon acute death due to drowning.
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keywords = death
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3/97. Centipede inflicted postmortem injury.

    We here report the first case of postmortem injury caused by a centipede. An old man was found dead in his bedroom. The death was estimated to be due to intracranial hemorrhage and to have occurred two days before the police inspection. A centipede about 12 cm long emerged from a subcutaneous cavity on the victim's forearm. Obviously, the centipede had dug the cavity on the intact skin. A police inspector was bitten by the centipede, so he stepped on the centipede on the floor. The exudate from the insect was identified to be derived from the victim's blood.
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4/97. What happens in freezing bodies? Experimental study of histological tissue change caused by freezing injuries.

    In order to evaluate histological features of freezing damages to human tissue after death, we froze samples of liver and heart tissue to temperatures of -12 degrees C, -28 degrees C and -80 degrees C, and stored them for 24 and 72 h, respectively, at those temperatures. After thawing and routine preparation for histology, the samples were evaluated both by microscope and with an electronic image analyzer. In all cases, we found extended extracellular spaces and shrunken cells resulting from the freeze-thaw cycle. These features were more pronounced in tissues stored for longer durations. Such findings seem to be typical of tissue that has been frozen prior to examination. Two cases of dead bodies found outdoors at subzero temperatures demonstrate that formerly frozen and unfrozen tissues can be distinguished histologically. The findings are examined in relation to the fundamental laws of cryobiology.
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5/97. Sperm extracted and cryopreserved from testes several hours after death results in pregnancy following frozen embryo transfer: case report.

    A 38-year-old male died suddenly on his honeymoon. Sperm was extracted from his testes 3 h following his death and cryopreserved. His wife had in vitro fertilization (IVF) and the eggs were inseminated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). None of the sperm were motile. Selection was based on softness and pliability. There were 4 embryos formed that cleaved, but only 2 were transferred on the retrieval cycle. The wife failed to conceive, but then had a second transfer of the 2 cryopreserved embryos. She achieved a chemical pregnancy with the beta-human chorionic gonadotropin level attaining a maximum level of 107 mIU/mL (rising from 19 mIU/mL). Though this retrieval cycle did not result in a successful pregnancy the achievement of a clinical pregnancy following frozen embryo transfer at least provides cautious optimism for other cases with similar conditions.
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keywords = death
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6/97. An autopsy case of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) and its immunohistochemical findings of muscle-associated proteins and mitochondria.

    neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is a rare but potentially fatal disorder. In forensic cases, post-mortem diagnosis of NMS is sometimes difficult if ante-mortem information, such as neuroleptic ingestion or signs and symptoms, cannot be obtained. A 39-year-old Japanese male on a neuroleptic treatment regimen suddenly became agitated and died. autopsy revealed muscle rigidity and hyperthermia. Post-mortem examination of blood revealed elevation of creatine phosphokinase-MM (CK-MM) and lactate dehydrogenase-4 and dehydrogenase-5 (LDH-4 and LDH-5). In renal glomeruli and tubules, myoglobin was stained immunohistochemically. From these findings, the cause of death was considered to be NMS. To support the diagnosis of NMS, both skeletal and cardiac muscles were stained with actin, myoglobin, desmin and mitochondria antibodies immunohistochemically. Actin, myoglobin, desmin, and mitochondria had been lost from skeletal, but not from the cardiac muscle, which suggested that only the skeletal muscle was damaged. Moreover, because mitochondria had disappeared only from the skeletal muscle, it was considered that skeletal muscle degeneration was caused by mitochondrial damage. Therefore, it is suggested that immunostaining of skeletal muscle by antibodies for muscle-associated proteins and mitochondria is useful to corroborate a diagnosis of NMS.
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7/97. Post-traumatic meningitis: histomorphological findings, postmortem microbiology and forensic implications.

    Infections of the leptomeninges with the infectious agent gaining access to the intracranial compartment by traumatic means are termed post-traumatic. In cases with fatal outcome, the manner of death has to be classified as non-natural. Six cases of post-traumatic meningitis as the cause of death from the archives of the Institute of Legal medicine in Hamburg, germany with histological and microbiological investigations are presented. There were all males, age varying between 24 and 90 years (mean 58 years); range of the interval between original trauma and beginning of symptoms was 2 days up to 8 years; in 50% of the cases meningeal swabs yielded streptococcus pneumoniae. Findings concerning origin and mechanism of post-traumatic meningitis as well as microbiological studies are compared with selected cases from the literature.
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keywords = death
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8/97. Postmortem absorption of dichloromethane: a case study and animal experiments.

    A case of accidental death after occupational exposure to an atmosphere containing dichloromethane (DCM) is reported. The concentrations of DCM in the blood and tissues of a 40-year-old man who died while observing an industrial washing machine filled with DCM vapour were blood 1660 mg/l, urine 247 mg/l, brain 87 mg/kg, heart muscle 199 mg/kg and lungs 103 mg/kg which are 3-7 times higher than previously reported fatal levels. The body was left undiscovered in the machine filled with DCM vapour for about 20 h. The present study was designed to determine whether all the DCM detected in the tissues and body fluids had been inhaled while alive using rats as the experimental model. The concentrations of DCM in the tissues and body fluids of a rat that died from DCM poisoning and was left for 20 h in a box containing DCM vapour were the same as those in the tissues and body fluids of a rat that had died from an injected overdose of barbiturates and had then been placed in the DCM box in a similar manner. Moreover, the concentrations of DCM in the tissues and body fluids of the carcasses that were exposed to the DCM vapour increased gradually throughout the period of exposure. These findings imply that DCM is able to penetrate the tissues and body fluids of rat carcasses through a route other than inhalation such as through the skin.
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9/97. Dead larvae of Cynomya mortuorum (L.) (diptera, Calliphoridae) as indicators of the post-mortem interval--a case history from norway.

    A case history where the presence of dead third instar larvae of Cynomya mortuorum (L.) provided information regarding the post-mortem interval is reported. Some (15-20) dead larvae were located in the mouth of the deceased, and data on the seasonal distribution of this species placed the time of death some 7 months prior to the discovery in May 1996, i.e. to October 1995. In this case, the entomological data matched the information later provided by the police.
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keywords = death
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10/97. carbon monoxide poisoning without cherry-red livor.

    Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning typically causes so-called cherry-red livor of the skin and viscera. The authors report a case of CO poisoning in which cherry-red livor did not develop. The decedent was a 75-year-old white man who was found dead in his car during a cold winter. blood CO saturation was 86%. The death was attributed to CO poisoning, and the manner of death was designated suicide. The curious absence of cherry-red livor was studied. The decedent's tissue and blood specimens were tested at different temperatures. There was no tendency for either type of specimen to develop cherry-red color at cold or warm temperatures. The antemortem response of the skin to cold possibly sequestered CO-saturated blood in the cadaver. As regards the viscera, there are other proteins to which CO can bond, and possibly these proteins contribute to the development of visceral cherry-red livor. In this case, the absence of cherry-red livor could have led to misclassification of the cause and manner of death. The medicolegal and social consequences of such misclassification can be significant, and psychiatric history, which may be useful to surviving family members, could be lost.
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ranking = 3
keywords = death
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